From humble backyard beginnings, to our first home in St Kilda, to our current residence in Collingwood, PBS has played a unique and essential role in Melbourne's music landscape.

 

The idea of creating a cooperative, community radio station to support under-represented music in Melbourne was hatched in the mid-late 1970s. Music lovers Felix Hoffman and Peter Jetson were both acutely aware of Melbourne's desperate lack of quality, community-driven radio, and had separately tried to enlist support for a new station. These two enthusiatic individuals joined forces and began searching for more like-minded music-loving weirdos.

 

By December 1976 a group of 50 people had been rounded up in service of the Progressive Broadcasting Service. Attendees at the inaugural PBS meeting came from a variety of backgrounds - doctors, dentists, and technicians rubbed shoulders with punks and musos. These people were "dissatisfied with the 'Pops & Classical' approach of current broadcasters ... and decided to try a fresh approach" (Waves, April 1978). Their vision of the station was fleshed out through issues of Waves magazine, a newsletter launched in 1977 where these idealists could conceptualise PBS as a counterpoint to the "sea of banality" of the dominant mass media of the time ("Drowned in a sea of banality", Waves, April 1978).

 

"We are about to witness - are witnessing - the dawn of a new age in radio communication. No longer is it adequate, or justified to simply 'rubber stamp' all media as corrupt or running counter to the well-being of the community they serve."
- Allan Quirk, "RADIO: The 'Hot' Medium", Waves, Vol.1, No.5, October 1977.

 

PBS was about to change Melbourne's music radio landscape, creating space for little-heard music and underrepresented voices, combating the isolation of living in a sprawling city.

 

After obtaining a broadcasting licience in October 1978, PBS began regular broadcasting at 4.30pm on the 21st December 1979, via a studio at the Prince of Wales hotel in St. Kilda and a transmitter on the roof of the Royal Women's Hospital in Carlton. Since then, the station has continued to grow as an integral part of Melbourne's diverse music industry. Championing Australian music since before it was cool, the PBS program grid showcases the diversity of contemporary music and supports emerging local bands and musicians. Countless musos and broadcasters cut their teeth at PBS, whether by presenting a graveyard show, volunteering on the front desk or being interviewed on air.

 

PBS TIMELINE

 

December 1976

First meeting of the Progressive Broadcasting Service

 

July 1977

First test transmission - PBS goes to air for the first time with 78 hours of continuous broadcasting 

 

October 1978

PBS offered a special interest licence

 

21st December 1979

First broadcast form Prince of Wales hotel studio: "Good afternoon, the is 4.30pm on Friday December 21st and this is 3PBS-FM commencing regular transmission on 107.7 MHz"

 

1980

The first live-to-air PBS outside broadcast - Big FM Broadcast of 1980, Dallas Brooke's Hall.

 

1984

PBS commences move to Fitzroy street studio

 

November 1987

PBS secures transmitter site at Mt Dandenong and begins broadcasting 24 hours on 106.7fm

 

March 1988 

First International Women's Day celebration on PBS

 

April 1988 

Inaugural Live Music Week

 

1990 

First all-woman broadcast for International Women's Day 

 

1997 

First simultaneous broadcast over the internet for Radiothon - which lead to the first international subscribers

 

2001

Move to Easey Street Collingwood

 

2002 

First Studio 5 Live broadcast

 

2003

PBS magazine renamed Easey

 

2006

First broadcast of The Morning Spread breakfast show

 

2009

30th anniversary reunion of announcers, volunteers, staff, board members and supporters

 

2010

SLAM rallies - PBS, RRR, 3CR simulcast to support live music venues 

 

April 2011

PBS and eight other Melbourne community stations launch their digital radio services with a joint simulcast from Fed Square

 

2015 

A third broadcast studio is commissioned at Easey street with generous support from the local community

 

1st November 2016

PBS diverges FM and DAB+ broadcasts with the first edition of Cross Pollinate hosted by participants in the Access Training Program

 

2019 

Move to new studios in the Collingwood Arts Precinct

 

"What has remained solid as a kick drum beneath a shifting melody is the spirit that drove a bunch of people from punks to doctors and engineers, to create a station in 1979 playing 'little heard' music"

Many things have changed since 1979, but PBS' desire to support underrepresented music remains central to everything we do.

 

Learn more here...